Food Allergy Safety Update

Posted 3.18.09 | Nutrition Specialist

I’ve been following the food allergy labeling debate for awhile now. Back in September, we blogged about a hearing held by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to develop a long-term strategy to clear up accidental-allergy warnings that are misleading consumers. According to a study released this weekend at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology’s annual meeting, this is still a safety concern for all food allergy parents.

The study found that a small number of food products with the “may contain” label actually do contain allergens. 5.3 percent of randomly selected grocery store food items with this label contained detectable levels of egg, milk or peanut and 2 percent of food products with no such warning also contained allergens. In all, 399 products were tested.

To read the entire US News & World Report article on the study, click here.

The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 required new labels for packaged foods containing major allergens, but the “may contain” labels were not covered in this Act.

As we’ve said before, be very vigilant when purchasing food products for your little ones that you have not made yourself. Unfortunately, potential allergens may still be in a food product, even if it’s not on the label.

On a positive note, President Obama has vowed to help with food safety in his recent weekly address. He announced his appointments to the FDA and covered the recent salmonella scare in the Georgia peanut plan. Click here to check out a Wall Street Journal article on the topic.

Any questions or comments? I’d love to hear them.

- Nita

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Food Allergy Living is a resource for parents of children with food allergies, brought to you by Nutricia, the makers of Neocate. For more in-depth information about our purpose & authors, see our About Food Allergy Living page.